Arsenal or Chelsea could sign Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot in the January transfer window if they agree to match his wage demands. The France international wants a £2.5 million-a-year deal - roughly £48,000-a-week - from his next employers.
This is according to reports in France - and brought to our attention by the Express - which claim that PSG boss Laurent Blanc is now resigned to losing Rabiot.
Rabiot keen to leave PSG
The talented midfielder’s contract at the Parc des Princes expires next summer, by which point he will be free to walk away from the club, but PSG may attempt to cash-in when the transfer window re-opens in the New Year.
Rabiot has rejected the French champions’ latest contract offer, safe in the knowledge that there are a host of top European clubs keen to secure his signature.
As well as Arsenal and Chelsea, it’s believed that Italian giants Juventus and AS Roma are also keen determined to sign the versatile starlet.
However, the Serie A duo are more inclined to wait until the end of the season - when he will be available for nothing - which will allow the two interested Premier League clubs to pounce in January.
Arsenal and Chelsea must convince... Rabiot's mum
But they will need to convince Rabiot’s mother - who is also his agent - that he should move to England instead of Italy.
It’s believed that Mrs. Rabiot would prefer to see her son join Roma, where French coach Rudi Garcia is the manager. But there’s a chance that Rabiot Jr. will rebel against his mum’s wishes - it’s understood he prefers the idea of a move to England.
Kevin Strootman saga
But it seems that PSG are in complete agreement with Rabiot’s mother - but only because they know that by selling the midfielder to AS Roma, they stand a much better chance of signing Netherlands international Kevin Strootman in return.
The Parisians are keen to beat Manchester United to Strootman in January, but will need to convince Rabiot to accept a move to the Stadio Olimpico in order to make the deal happen.
Arsenal and Chelsea are unlikely to have any qualms about matching Rabiot’s wage demands. A £48,000-a-week deal is about average for a first-team player at both clubs, with the highest-profile players earning treble or even quadruple that figure.
However, both London clubs will struggle to guarantee Rabiot, who has also been linked with Manchester United in recent weeks, first-team football. Chelsea currently have Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel as their central midfield options, while Arsenal have a host of players who play in the same positions, including Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta.
Which club should Rabiot join? Have your say in the comments section below.